Local churches create ‘Day in Lents Park’

INCLUDES FUN VIDEO | Find out why so many people volunteered to make it a fun family day in an outer East Portland City Park …

In the Lents neighborhood, the “Day in the Park” festivities are underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The gloomy overcast didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of those gathered to offer a “Day in the Park” festival in Lents Park, on Saturday afternoon, September 3.

As a result of their efforts, there were hundreds of people gathered there for a day of music, food, family entertainment, and spiritual sharing.

Monica Hayward and her husband, Alpha Hayward, Pastor of Revolution Church, share some candy floss.

“It’s a free event for the whole community to enjoy – specifically-targeted toward outer Southeast Portland residents in the Lents and Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods,” said the day’s main organizer, Revolution Church Pastor Alpha Hayward.

Hayward recalled meeting us when we came to a similar event in 2017. CLICK HERE to read that story.

“For the last 15 years we’ve been in this neighborhood, and it’s always been in my heart to hold celebrations like this,” Hayward explained.

It was not a church service, nor is anyone expected to listen to a sermon to participate, Hayward pointed out. “You don’t even have to be a Christian, go to church, or even care about spiritual things at all – this isn’t about religion. We invite everybody in, and no one is turned away.”

Here’s a quick video look at some of what took place during their festival:

Why in Lents?
“I grew up in this area, attending Llewellyn Elementary school, and Sellwood Middle School, before my family moved eastward,” Hayward explained. “I played at the Mt. Scott Community Center, Lents Park, and the Boys & Girls Club, when I was a kid.

Cooking up fresh street tacos for guests are Lalo Martinez, and Julia Martinez, with Iglesia Del Nazareno Adonai Church

“I got into trouble with my friends in this neighborhood!” Hayward continued “When I made the decision to follow God’s call in my life to be a Christian evangelist and a pastor, I looked for the opportunity to pastor in the area where I grew up. And, so, here we are!”

Demonstrating love
About a hundred volunteers from eight different churches come work together in producing this large-scale festival in Lents Park, Hayward told us.

Families play games together at the festival.

“We do this as an outward demonstration of our love for individuals in our community,” explained Hayward. “With this festival, we’re showing that we want to have a relationship with them, and show them the love of Jesus Christ. By being here we feel that it helps us ‘earn the right’ to share our love of Jesus with them, in a way that’s not aggressive, or judgmental.

“Our effort comes from love, and grace, and not shying away from the truth — which is that without Jesus, we are not able to be saved,” Hayward said.

Learn more about Revolution Church by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

On our Front Page: Ready to share the “Good News” is Mario Florez with Iglesia Del Nazareno Adonai, in Brentwood-Darlington.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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